The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

The IGA Nominees

Well, now that the International Gamers Award nominees have been announced, some thoughts.

I agree that Agricola, Race and Pandemic belong. I consider Pandemic good, but it’s amusing and attracts a wide range of gamers. I think In the Year of the Dragon (which I like, a bit) Stone Age (ditto) and Kingsburg (don’t like, but only mildly) will all disappear without a trace in a year or so. No need to rehash my thoughts on Hamburgum and Brass. Haven’t tried Tribune or Tinner’s Trail.

What games would I have added? Well, Kutschfahrt is new to me, but the Geek says it was ’06. Galaxy Trucker seems an odd omission. Its in the middle of the pack, in terms of my enjoyment, but it’s novel. I can’t think of any other games, so I guess I’m not complaining about the list.

I haven’t played any of the 2 player games, so no comment there.

Looking at the 2007 winner and nominees, several of those games were flashes in the pan (at least locally). I can’t completely absolve myself of blame (Yspahan), but I guess this is just a yearly thing. If you nominate 5-10 games a year, you are bound to have some that just don’t stand up to scrutiny a few years (or even year) later. Which just reminds me that I should play Combat Commander again.

I think the IGA should put a bigger delay between games and nomination. Games released June 30th are eligible, and they’ve got the nomination before the end of August? No doubt many of the voters are more hardcore than I am (see “I haven’t played that…” above), but that’s still a narrow window. The Historical Simulations nominees (also just announced) are published in 2007, which is better.

Still, lists are always good for arguing about, so have at it.

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Written by taogaming

August 27, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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10 Responses

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  1. I agree with Pandemic, Race and Tribune. Agricola, Brass, In the Year of the Dragon and Kingsburg are all varying levels of ok. Stone Age I dislike and Tinner’s Trail is a whole lot of randomness without much reward. I haven’t played the published Hamburgum.

    Taking out Stone Age, Tinner’s Trail and Hamburgum I suppose I’d add Oregon, Galaxy Trucker and the Cash and Guns expansion. None of them come close to the first three above.

    I agree with the bigger gap being a good idea. At various points I probably would have rated some of these games significantly higher or lower, and I should get a few more games of Tribune in. I’m starting to think the easy victory conditions, particularly in the five player game, can end the game before you have a chance to develop a position.

    frunk

    August 27, 2008 at 4:20 pm

  2. I think it’s a fantastic list: ten really good, popular games. It helps that they veered much more to the heavier games than they have in recent years, but this is the kind of list the IGA always used to produce. Besides, it’s been a much better year for heavy games than for lighter ones—witness the trouble the SdJ Jury had coming up with a selection.

    Galaxy Trucker would have been a reasonable choice, as would have King of Siam. But I can’t think of any obvious game on the list that I’d replace. I just think it was a very good job by the IGA committee.

    When the IGA’s started out, they had the same award date, but were based on games from the previous calendar year. However, they changed it to its current format, and I was one of the bigger proponents for them doing so. The awards were becoming a joke—they’d honor a game in October that had been released in February of the previous year, 20 months ago. This way, they use the same fiscal gaming year that the SdJ and DSP awards do, which makes them relevant and allows for some enjoyable comparisons. Very few games get released in May and June, giving the voters plenty of time to play the eligible games multiple times. Not to mention the fact that for the past several years, the bulk of the interesting games have been released during Essen. This is the proper format for the IGAs.

    Larry Levy

    August 27, 2008 at 9:14 pm

  3. I think it’s a fantastic list: ten really good, popular games. It helps that they veered much more to the heavier games than they have in recent years, but this is the kind of list the IGA always used to produce. Besides, it’s been a much better year for heavy games than for lighter ones—witness the trouble the SdJ Jury had coming up with a selection.

    Galaxy Trucker would have been a reasonable choice, as would have King of Siam. But I can’t think of any obvious game on the list that I’d replace. I just think it was a very good job by the IGA committee.

    When the IGA’s started out, they had the same award date, but were based on games from the previous calendar year. However, they changed it to its current format, and I was one of the bigger proponents for them doing so. The awards were becoming a joke—they’d honor a game in October that had been released in February of the previous year, 20 months ago. This way, they use the same fiscal gaming year that the SdJ and DSP awards do, which makes them relevant and allows for some enjoyable comparisons. Very few games get released in May and June, giving the voters plenty of time to play the eligible games multiple times. Not to mention the fact that for the past several years, the bulk of the interesting games have been released during Essen. This is the proper format for the IGAs.

    Larry Levy

    August 27, 2008 at 9:14 pm

  4. I think it’s the nature of our hobby that games, even very, very good games, fall by the wayside just a year or two after their release. There’s a constant avalanche of new games arriving and people (at least those who read gaming blogs, visit the ‘Geek, or care about the IGAs) are interested primarily in the new.

    This also explains why their calendar is what it is — recommending a game that is over a year old would be meaningless to their audience.

    Greg Aleknevicus

    August 28, 2008 at 1:57 am

  5. I think there’s a difference between a recommendation and an award. A recommendation has some requirement to be timely, it’s a yay or nay to a game and will frequently be used by early adopters. Awards are something that will be looked back upon years from now to demarcate games that are worth a second look. These are the games that, amongst the torrent of the new, deserve special attention. Positive awards should be given for games that have at least some long term viability, or are notable for another reason (introducing a new mechanic, new production standards appropriate to the game, etc.).

    All of the games listed are games that people can have a lot of fun with. I’m not convinced there are that many games released this year that deserve an award. A good number of the ones I included in my top ten I wouldn’t give an award (and thinking back there are probably some games I forgot to mention).

    frunk

    August 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm

  6. I think it’s the nature of our hobby that games, even very, very good games, fall by the wayside just a year or two

    It’s the nature of entertainment, in general. Just peruse the best-selling book list of 80 years ago … you won’t recognize many of them. Ditto movies and albums (although given the huge production times of movies, they seem to change tastes more slowly).

    There’s a conflict between timeliness of awards and making sure thtt they aren’t just a flash in the pan. I doubt the founders of the IGA awards want me (or others) to respect them as little as I do the Grammies, for instance. (Not that they are anywhere in danger of that yet).

    Brian

    August 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  7. I think it’s the nature of our hobby that games, even very, very good games, fall by the wayside just a year or two

    It’s the nature of entertainment, in general. Just peruse the best-selling book list of 80 years ago … you won’t recognize many of them. Ditto movies and albums (although given the huge production times of movies, they seem to change tastes more slowly).

    There’s a conflict between timeliness of awards and making sure thtt they aren’t just a flash in the pan. I doubt the founders of the IGA awards want me (or others) to respect them as little as I do the Grammies, for instance. (Not that they are anywhere in danger of that yet).

    Brian

    August 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  8. I think it’s the nature of our hobby that games, even very, very good games, fall by the wayside just a year or two

    It’s the nature of entertainment, in general. Just peruse the best-selling book list of 80 years ago … you won’t recognize many of them. Ditto movies and albums (although given the huge production times of movies, they seem to change tastes more slowly).

    There’s a conflict between timeliness of awards and making sure thtt they aren’t just a flash in the pan. I doubt the founders of the IGA awards want me (or others) to respect them as little as I do the Grammies, for instance. (Not that they are anywhere in danger of that yet).

    Brian

    August 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  9. And I was just browsing the oscar list, and actually the vast majority of their selections from 1960-1989 are defensible. Quite amazing, really.

    Brian

    August 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm

  10. Personally, I agree that “Game of the Year” type awards are more useful if they’re awarded after a suitable period of reflection. But experience has shown me that the majority of people care mostly for the new. It’s no fun to put effort into any sort of venture (such as the IGAs) only to have it met with a “meh” response from the public.

    Greg Aleknevicus

    August 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm


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